Coronavirus has forced governments and businesses worldwide to take drastic measures to halt its spread – from quarantining 18 million in Northern Italy and calling off world premieres like James Bond’s No Time To Die in April, to cancelling major conferences such as the ITB travel show in Berlin and South by Southwest in Austin. But COVID-19 has ignited an unexpected trend: quirky songs and videos.
Musicians, bloggers and local health authorities are taking to social media and online music services like YouTube and Spotify with catchy jingles and videos to spread the message of how to fight coronavirus. While some do include highly questionable lyrics that play up racist or xenophobic stereotypes about Asian culture, others are largely constructive and educational. Here are the best of the bunch from across the globe:
Other governments, take note: health authorities in Vietnam have released a banging hit that’s already mopped up almost 10 million views on YouTube. According to Billboard, the catchy song ‘Ghen C? Vy’ is based on the melody of the V-pop hit ‘Ghen’ and was written by Khac Hung with the National Institute of Occupational and Environmental Health.
The popular track has already sparked a trending dance called the #ghencovychallenge on TikTok.
Two children in Hong Kong – Morgan Wong, aged eight, and his sister Megan, aged 10 – composed a song in which they directly address Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam.
“Mrs Carrie Lam, don’t you hear the people suffer? Don’t you hear the people cry for masks? Mrs Carrie Lam, don’t you hear the people’s voices? That they are worried and afraid?”
“The coronavirus, the coronavirus / It makes you faint and feel bad / Be very careful because you can catch it / if you don’t take care, it can kill you.”
These are some lyrics from El Capi, a band from Oaxaca, Mexico, with their own anti-virus track. The video shows members of the band dancing in the street, each holding a bottle of Corona beer, whose brand image has taken a hit since the COVID-19 outbreak.
Another popular jingle is the Spanish-language ‘La Cumbia Del Coronavirus’ by Mister Cumbia, which has amassed over 1.2m views on YouTube and nearly 100,000 streams across various platforms. The US-based artist tells listeners to wash their hands and avoid seeing friends if they are infected.
“Let’s be attentive / We have to take care / So let’s roll up our sleeves and get to work / That’s why I made this song / The best thing to do is prevention / We all need to take care, pay attention!”
Dominican singer Yofrangel released his own COVID-19-inspired anthem last month, which has so far garnered over 1.5m views on YouTube.
Entitled ‘Corona Virus’, the track by the Dembow artist starts with him coughing violently in the back of an ambulance, with pathogen graphics flying across the screen. In Spanish, Yofrangel tells listeners to cover their mouth and not get other people infected.